The sitter was born 16th April 1942 and the son of George Purdy and Amelia Jane Purdy. Educated at Annadale Grammar School and married Judith Sara Isabel Kerr in 1969. George first joined Scouting as Cub at 8 years old and held many Scout Leader appointments between 1960 and 1994. These included Groups such as the 45th West Belfast, 1960–1963; 2nd Donaghadee, 1963–1994, 2004; 1st Inniskilling, 1964–1965 and Three Spires, 1970–1971. In 1983 he led the Northern Ireland contingent to the World Scout Jamboree in Canada and organised the All-Ireland International Scout Camps. He was then appointed Chief Commissioner of Northern Ireland and then became Chief Scout in 1996. In recognition of his service he was awarded the Long Service Decoration in 1980 and a Bar to it in 1993, Medal of Merit in 1983, Silver Acorn and the Silver Wolf in 1996 and the Chief Scout’s Long Service Award in 2004.
The formal handover between Garth Morrison and George Purdy was opened up to the membership by holding a weekend picnic and firework display at Gilwell Park. The next eight years prove to be packed with change which included the relocation of Headquarter staff and services to Gilwell Park in 2001. He introduced a new uniform for adults and young people, 2002; new programme for Explorer and Scout Network, 2002; new pattern of Adult Training and Support is introduced, 2003 and the removal of the upper age limit for Warrants. He was also involved in the preparations for the 2005 European Jamboree and 2007 World Jamboree.
George’s time as Chief Scout will be remembered for his enthusiasm and approachability by all. Since retirement he has served on the Committee of Council, County Vice-President of County Down, 2005–2008; District Chairman of Newtownards District, 2007 and County President of County Down, 2008. Made a Commander of the British Empire in 2001 for services to youth and since 2004 he has been Vice-President of The Scout Association.
Where to see this painting?
The Scout Association
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